M.Sc. University Münster, Germany, 2003
Dr. rer. nat. University Münster, Germany, 2007
My responsibilities involve the technical editing and organization of the Department’s palynological journal GRANA and the administration and management of the palaeobotanical library. I also am responsible for the overall laboratory safety within the department and supervise the hydrofluoric acid laboratory. My aims are smoothly running, well-equipped and well-functioning laboratory facilities together with an up-to-date and well-sorted palaeobotanical library.
I am a biologist and palaeobotanist focusing on plant life and vegetation development in the Mesozoic era. Global vegetation underwent dramatic changes during the Mesozoic. Previously dominant plant groups declined, whilst other groups began to flourish. This changed drastically during the Early Cretaceous with the appearance of the angiosperms, which ultimately came to dominate most terrestrial ecosystems.
In the Mesozoic greenhouse world, so-called ‘paratropical environments’ at high northern latitudes played a crucial role for the development, diversification and survival of major plant groups. High latitudes may have provided refugia for plant groups that could not compete with the rapidly radiating angiosperms (flowering plants) at lower latitudes in the mid-Cretaceous, a hypothesis that I am interested in testing.
To investigate this, I am interested in providing a better understanding of Mesozoic fossil floras from the Arctic and in assessing the changing composition of the vegetation in northern Europe during the Late Triassic–Early Cretaceous. Further, I will investigate the impact of angiosperms on previously dominating plant groups, such as cycadophytes and ginkgophytes.
My second major interest involves the evolutionary history of “cycadophytes” (Bennettitales, Cycadales, Nilssoniales), the factors behind their rise to dominance in the Late Triassic–Middle Jurassic, and their abrupt decline towards the Middle Cretaceous, along with their potential survival in high-latitude refugia.
My projects are funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR).